Council chiefs have apologised to mourners after a funeral service in Wearside was disrupted when a crematorium blaze sparked an emergency response
Four fire crews were called out to Sunderland Crematorium at 1pm today after a filter at the rear of Sunderland Crematorium overheated.
The building was evacuated after members of staff spotted the smoke and called 999.
The fire service spent over hours at the crematorium, on Chester Road, Sunderland making the area safe.
They stood down from the scene at about 5.30pm.
The crematorium was closed for a short time, with one funeral service disrupted.
Other scheduled services then went ahead as normal, subject to a half-hour delay.
Councillor Michael Mordey, Portfolio Holder for City Services said: “The crematorium was closed for a short time yesterday afternoon after a filter at the rear of the building overheated and failed.
“Members of crematorium staff saw the smoke and acted quickly to evacuate the building for the safety of all concerned and called out the emergency services.
“Regrettably, one funeral service was disrupted although this was completed once the fire service confirmed it was safe to re-enter the building.
“All other funeral services due to take place went ahead as planned subject to a half hour delay. The crematorium will be operating as usual tomorrow.
“We will be contacting the families affected to offer our apologies at this already distressing time.”